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August 21, It's an awesome thing to do; you learn a lot about woodwork. The confidence and practical skills Daniel gained from the experience have stayed with him. He's currently applying what he learned at a summer construction White Salmon your girls friends building wooden decks. Ray Klebba's White Salmon Boat Works is a modest venture, a place where people come together to build their own wooden canoes, kayaks, and rowboats.
In the four years since it opened, the small workshop has become a community attraction and gathering spot. Daniel's mom, Julie, has high praise for Klebba and his boat works. He says it's no big deal, but it is a big deal when it turns somebody around. Daniel's success delights Klebba, especially since the boat-building business that contributed to it began unintentionally. He had built wooden boats before only as a hobby.
Eventually, I had so many people coming in asking if I'd show them how to build a boat, and I kept saying yes, that I had to start charging for materials. The wood-strip boats, so named for the fine strips of cedar, redwood, mahogany, and other contrasting woods used in their construction, are finished with a heavy-gloss lacquer that enhances their striking goodlooks.
Today, he has a waiting list of people who want to build the particular boat of their dreams. But Klebba still makes time to help young people. She says: "Ray was very willing to work with us. He's a good member of the community. Ray made sure it was a positive experience.
Klebba's reputation quickly traveled as far north as the Yakama Indian nation, which also enlisted his skills. Word also spread west to the suburbs of Portland, Ore. Dreamers of all kinds have built canoes and kayaks under Klebba's guidance. This summer, boat-building is a family affair for young teen Michael Germeraad; his father, Paul; and grandmother, Esther, who is in her eighth decade. The family is, in fact, building two boats that, finished or not, will be taken home to California by rental van at the end of their two-week stay.
Michael's grandmother has lived in the White Salmon area since she and her husband retired there in She saw the project as a way to bring the family together in a creative endeavor. About half of the people Klebba has guided through building their first boat have been women, and he hopes to attract more female customers.
Klebba has seen firsthand how his boats change peoples' lives, from the students' scholastic improvement to the many adults who find lasting friendships with their fellow boat-builders. I'm like a proud daddy," he says. We all helped build them.
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